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tv   ABC News Good Morning America  ABC  December 16, 2012 4:00am-5:00am PST

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friends are dead. >> and we are now seeing the faces of the young victims as one father steps forward. >> my daughter emilie would be one of the first ones to give her love and support to all those victims. because that's the type of person she is. >> announcer: this is a special edition of "good morning america," "tragedy at the elementary school," live from newtown, connecticut, connecticut. >> and good morning, america. i'm here in newtown, connecticut, connecticut, behind me the sandy hook fire department, bianna golodryga is back in new york. she will join us shortly. with me here this morning my weekday colleague lara spencer and amy robach. >> dan, even more sadness as the dead are identified we're seeing the faces of those so very young victims. i'm going to have that story. it's a really tough one but it's an important one so we can remember those who spent so much
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time in that school and were loved by so many. >> lara, you have a story coming up. >> as the healing has begun, the folks are pulling together trying to overcome this unimaginable tragedy and i'll have that report. >> well, those stories coming up but to the latest news. as we said president obama will arrive in newtown, connecticut tonight, he'll be meeting with the families of the victims thanking first responders and speaking at an interstate vigil. this is the fourth time in four years this president has paid a visit after a mass shooting. also this morning police have now released this list of the victims. look closely at the ages. 2004, 2006. josephine gay just had her seventh birthday last tuesday. one called it the saddest piece of paper ever printed. the families are releasing pictures of the children they lost. as the writer of the associate press put it, they still had
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their baby dooet. >> adam lanza's father says "we are still in disbelief. we too are asking why." sources say no note or manifesto has been found. also his mother had no connection to the school. and this morning americans are honoring the victims. every nfl team will observe a moment of silence. the giants and patriots will play with special decals on their helmets. "saturday night live," the children's choir singing "silent night." also this morning for the first time we're hearing how one little girl survived the massacre and my colleague lara is back now with that story. incredible story. >> unbelievable story. 16 kids in this classroom. one survived. i spoke last night with the
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pastor who has been counseling this little girl's mother. a harrowing story of how a first grader lived by playing dead. >> you have one parishioner who was right there, a little girl, a first grader. >> she was the first student who ran out of the sandy hook school, 6 1/2 years old. she ran out of the school building covered in blood from head to toe and the first words she said to her mom when she got outside was, mommy, i'm okay, but all my friends are dead. somehow in that moment god's grace was able to act as if she was already -- >> was she the only one in that class that survived. >> yi, of those who were left in the classroom of first graders she was the lone survivor. >> what has she told her mom? what did she see in there. >> well, she saw someone who she felt was angry and somebody who she felt was very mad. >> how at 6 1/2 years old can
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you be that smart, that brave? >> i think it's impossible outside of divine intervention. she has wisdom beyond her years. >> how are the mom and dad doing? >> i think as well as you can expect them to do. >> they must be relieved to have their child but -- >> the mom told me that she was suffering from what she called survivor's guilt because so many of their friends no longer have their children but she has hers. >> a long road ahead. an incredible story of survival and all by a 6-year-old girl. dan? >> and her family with survivor's guilt, no doubt dealing with that for awhile. thank you for that. a few moments ago i spoke with bill hart, a spokesperson for the newtown, connecticut board of education. here's what he had to say. >> the plan is to re-open the schools on tuesday. why is it so important to get
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things moving again. >> well, all the mental health experts we talked to and the state has done a wonderful job of bringing in some help tell us it's the best thing to do to get back to normal operations as soon as possible. best for the children and for the staff and for the complupts. >> what do you do with the students who are enrolled at this elementary school? >> well, this school here, we're clearly not going to be in this building any time in the foreseeable future but close to a plan to move the community to -- the school community to another location. those details will probably come out today. i'm not really prepared to really say but we know it'll work. >> do you think you can ever re-open this school and what would you say to parents who say i never want to send my child -- >> i would probably feel very much the same way. my three daughters went to this school and we have many memories there. i think trying to understand what we're going to do with that is a long process and, you know, we're not anywhere prepared to
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make those decisions now. >> you talked about the importance of re-establishing routine but it's going to be hard to do in this atmosphere. what kind of special allowances will you take for the staff and students who are really hurting as you try to reestablish -- >> we brought in mental health professionals from all over the state and have special training for people and know some of the teachers might not be prepared to come back and be prepared with substitutes and counseling for all the people. we've prepared to do whatever we have to do to help all of our community. >> we keep hearing these stories of the valor displayed by the principal at this elementary school and also some of the teachers. what are your thoughts on that. >> well, i think we had -- that's really the big story here. there's some incredible heroes and i think what they did moving to move all the children to safe locations and going through our lockdown location saved countless more lives. those teachers, the taff that
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were there, the first responders who came in, they're the people who are the real heroes. >> bill hart, you so a difficult job and i wish you the best. >> thank you, dan. once again our thanks to bill hart. let's get it back to new york now and bianna. bianna, good morning to you. >> dan, i'm still dealing with that sentence you said, so many of these victims still have their baby teeth. so hard hitting. and we are getting a more complete picture of the gunman as police try to learn more about why 20-year-old adam lanza went on his bloody rampage. abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross is here with the latest. brian, you're happening the weapons he used were likely licensed to his mother who is described as a gun enthusiast. >> correct according to people on the scene. authorities are moving with more developments likely to come today in their efforts to determine the how and the why of this stunning crime. police say they have already found important clues in their home where the killer's mother,
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52-year-old nancy lanza was the first victim. >> hopefully painting the complete picture as to how and more importantly why this occurred. >> reporter: authorities now say nancy lanza owned the same style of guns that her son used to kill her and the 26 victims at the elementary school. the medical examiner said most were killed with multiple shots from the high-pourered semiautomatic rifle. >> this is probably the worst i have seen. >> the connection between adam lanza and the sandy hook elementary school goes back to the time he went to school there and his mother worked as a teacher's aide. according to add gam's aunt. >> i know she had issues with school. she eventually wound up home schooling him. she battled with the school district and what took place i'm not 100% certain if it was behavior. >> reporter: as a fuller picture of adam lanza began to emerge including his membership in the tech club, he was a smart but
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socially awkward student. >> he always carried a briefcase. >> reporter: adam's parents peter and nancy lanza went through an uncontested divorce and adam's aunt said that nancy had purchased so many weapons because she was concerned for her safety living alone. >> i think no reason why nancy may have had them for self-defense and no other reason. >> reporter: friends have told us that nancy lanza enjoyed taking her sons to the firing range for practice. >> she could have been there when he was learning how to shoot those guns. so many victims to talk about. 26 innocent lives lost and, dan, i know you have more on that. >> yes, we now know their names. they are so young, all in the first grade, august of them shot more than once by a semiautomatic rifle. they're saying defendant was
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swift and said this is the worst case he ever seen and home robach is more on this. this is the hardest part. >> dan, it's so true. every day we learn more about the victims and this story just gets harder and harder. this morning we know the names. we see the little faces of those sweet little boys and girls and the teachers who loved them and the parents who so ses separately miss them. 12 little girls and 8 little boys all only in first grade and the teachers who tried to save them. on saturday, photos and details of lives cut short started to emerge. >> the worst that i know of any of my colleagues having seen -- >> noah pozner had just turned 6. 7-year-old grace mcdonnell, family membering tells abc news
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"our daughter was the love and light of our family. words cannot adequately express our sense of loss. ana mark question green, they're struggling to work through this nightmare. hubbard hubbard sa-- catherine family said "we ask that you continue to pray for us. jesse lewis was looking forward to making gingerbred houses. he was in victoria soto's class. she was shielding some of her first graders when she died. lauren russeau had just started as a full-time teacher in september having the best year of her life, her mother said. mary sherlach, the school psychologist, her family said "mary felt like she was doing god's work by helping children. s she." she headed towards the shooter when it began. joined by the principal dawn
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hochsprung, a mother herself, it is now believed she turned on the p.a. system when the shooting started so others could be warned of the dangers that had invaded their school. it is so difficult to find the right words after seeing how much this community has lost, but somehow, some way the father of little emilie parker found those words when he spoke to cameras outside of a newtown, connecticut church. >> as the deep pain begins to settle into our hearts, we find comfort reflecting on the incredible person that emilie was and how many lives that she was able to touch in her short time here on earth. emilie was bright, creative and very loving as those were the gifts that were given to her by her heavenly father. the strength and example she showed us was remarkable. she is an incredible person.
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and i'm so blessed to be her dad. i don't know how to get through something like this. my wife and i don't understand how to process all of this and how to get our lives going. i'm not mad because i have to make sure that i use this event to do what i can to do whatever i can to, one, make sure that my family and my wife and my daughters are take kane care of and if there's anything i can do to help anybody anywhere, i'd be willing to do that. >> what an incredibly strong and brave and courageous man. my hat is certainly off to him as a parent. i don't think that i could do that. >> and covering this story as a parent, i know you've got three little girls, extraordinarily difficult. >> it is incredibly difficult. school is closed here in newtown, connecticut tomorrow, but everyone around the country,
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every who is going to take their school tomorrow, it is going to be a fundamentally different experience. there is a fear factor and the sense that you don't know, that elementary school isn't sacred anymore. it's not a safe place anymore that we once thought it would be and a lot of parents will hug their parents more tighter before they send them off. >> taking things not so much for granted anymore. i know lara in the broadcast and you will be back about how to talk to children about this. amy, excellent reporting. thanks very much. >> sunday morning is always a time for reflection but even more so on this day and in this place. abc's juju chang is at one of the churches. juju, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, dan. congregants are filing in. mass is about to get under way and the houses of worship throughout newtown are providing a sense of community but also a place where you can ask
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questions to which there are no easy answers like how could a gunman wipe out such innocence? here on the ground of st. rose of lima there are makeshift memorials. you can see candles and flowers but also childlike items, a soccer ball signed by the newtown soccer club an a note that said simply "sleep in heavenly peace." dan? >> and those childlike items as you put it, they are the toughest to see. juju, i know several families who belong to the church in front of which you are standing lost children. how is the church dealing with that? >> reporter: dan, it is such a poignant thought. monsignor robert rice who had the job of informing families they had lost their children had sent last night planning funerals for those children. a church official told me there are eight children, eight families and eight funerals that
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are being planned here in this congregation alone at st. rose and, you know, throughout this town, the churches and the houses of worship are not just wrapping their arms around the families that suffered a direct loss but to the entire community that says they'll never be the same. one last detail, there are four services planned here today and there are kleenex boxes on either side of each aisle of that church. >> extraordinary, we are heading into the week leading up to christmas and in this little town, they've got more than funerals to plan and carry out, juju chang, thank you for your reporting. a lot of other news on this sunday morning. for more let's get back to new york and bianna once again. >> all right, dan, we'll be back to you in newtown in a few moments but to another developing story, a health scare for hillary clinton. the secretary of state suffering a concussion after fainting from dehydration. abc's david kerley has the latest from washington and, david, how serious is her condition? >> well, she is staying home for
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about a week now. secretary clinton's health issue means she will not be going to capital hill to testify about what happened in benghazi. even though she injured herself last week we didn't learn about her condition until hours ago. this morning hillary clinton is at home recovering from a concussion as well as a stomach virus, in fact, the two are related. the state department says the secretary returned from her latest trip with a stomach bug. that was nine days ago but early last week clinton became dehydrated and fainted at her home, she apparently hit her head because she suffered a concussion. it's the second time in eight years she has fainted because of a stomach bug but she's generally healthy as she told barbara walters who asked about a possible presidential run in 2016. >> is your i'm a concern to you. >> it really isn't. i am thankfully knock on wood not only healthy but have incredible stamina and energy. >> but staying home this week
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means the secretary will not testify about the terrorist attack in benghazi, libya. >> look, i've said it and i'll say it one more time, no one wants to find out what happened more than i do. >> reporter: the state department reports on what led to it. the death of ambassador chris stevens and three others will come out in the next couple of days. she was set to testify before both houses thursday. now she will stay home and two deputies will fill in. not good enough says the republican chair of the house committee who declared the question about benghazi, "requires a public appearance by the secretary of state herself." but that may never happen. abc news has learned that the president will nominate john kerry as secretary of state. as soon as he is confirmed clinton will retire so may never testify about benghazi and we learned that the president called secretary clinton yesterday to make sure she was doing okay. >> glad to hear she is doing better. david, thank you. now with a look at the other stories making headlines here's
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ron claiborne. >> good morning to you, bianna, we begin with another eruption of gunfire. this time in a parking lot in a shopping mall in southern california. it was caught on surveillance camera. police in newport beach, california, say that 42-year-old mark cost gorolo was arrested after firing 50 shots into the air and ground outside of that mall. no one injured but the mall packed with holiday shoppers went into lockdown until police secured 9 area. a teenager under arrest for a plot to shoot students and bomb his high school. sammy chavez planned to trap students in a locked auditorium and allegedly wanted to place bombs at the doors for when police arrived. students reported the plan, the alleged plot to school staff members after chavez tried to recruit them. and a major concession by the republican house leaders in those fiscal cliff negotiations. abc news learned that house speaker john boehner has
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proposed raising income taxes for the healthiest americans, those making a million dollars a year or more. but only if the obama administration agreed to major entitlement cuts. the white house rejected boehner's proposal out of hand. egypt's muslim brotherhood is clairing victory in the first round of voting in that country. the referendum by mohammed morsi has polarized egypt. another round of voting takes place this coming week. and former south african president nelson mandela is recovering from surgery to have gallstones removed. he was initially hospitalized eight days ago with the recurrence of a lung infection, the second time he's been hospitalized this year. but hanging in there. >> around the world wishing him the best. >> yeah. >> all right, ron, thank you. time for weather and over to ginger zee. hey, ginger. >> good morning, bianna. good morning, everyone. it was an icy, messy, just
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disaster in parts of minnesota yesterday because of this low pressure system. first came the snow, then this wintry mix and had a lot of slide off. that same type of energy is now moving to the north and east so parts of new england tonight through early tomorrow are in winter weather advisories. in the mid-atlantic and northeast it will stay mostly rain but some heavy rains at times. also severe storms with that moisture pumping from the gulf. you could have 70-mile-per-hour gusts and small hail down through jackson, mississippi, even to houston today so something to take note of. the pacific northwest, the some blizzard warnings and winter storm warnings in effect too that starts tonight, up to 75-mile-per-hour gusts and can see here up to one or two feet of snow in the mountains. that's a big picture.
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>> that is a look at your nation's weather. now back out to dan. >> coming up much more of newtown, connecticut. how do you talk to your children about something like this? we have expert advice. a look at how the pass kerr puts the contentious issue of gun control back in the news. as we said much more from newtown on "gma" after this quick break.
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good morning, america on this sunday morning, 48 hours after the worst shooting at an elementary school in american history. this morning as the families of the young victims release a flood of beautiful but wrenching photographs, these question, how do you talk to your children about this kind of disaster and what, if anything, can be done to prevent this from happening again? good morning from newtown, connecticut, once again i'm dan harris, bianna golodryga is in new york. we'll get back to her in just a moment and we'll tackle both of those questions in a moment but
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first we want to start with the latest developments. president obama will be traveling here later today to meet with the families of those who were lost and also to thank the first responders. he will speak at an interfaith vigil scheduled for 7:00 iron. we now know the names of the dead and we know that all of the 20 children were in the first grade born in 2005 or 2006, the oldest victim, the school psychologist born in 1956. the massive scope of the senseless slaughter, the latest in a long string of mass shootings in america has re-opened the politically explosive subject of gun control and the second amendment. abc's pierre thomas who is our senior justice correspondent has been looking into it. >> good morning, dan. so many disturbing questions but this event has put a spotlight on america's thriving gun culture. the statistics are staggering. on black friday, u.s. shoppers were not just buying toys and
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electronics but guns in record numbers. on that single day the fbi did computerized background checks on more than 154,000 purchases of firearms. and in november alone, americans tried to buy a whopping 2 million guns. here's some fact that is might surprise you. there are more registered gun dealers in stores than major supermarkets. more gun sellers than mcdonald's restaurants. the overwhelming majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens but authorities tell abc news the millions of guns in circulation guarantee that disturbed people will often be able to obtain them even in tight-knit communities like newtown. we spoke to atf's on-scene commander to newtown. in roughly how many gun dealers are in this area. >> there are about 400 gun dealers in a four-counter area just within ten miles of the incident there are 36. >> reporter: in the case of adam lanza law enforcement authorities tell us the two
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handguns and assault rifle used in the 14509ing were bought legally. >> in america unless you have a felony conviction or you're adjudicated by a court to be mentally incompetent, you have ready access to firearms. >> reporter: lanza joins the ranks jared lee loughner, james holmes and the virginia tech shooter and this morning the nation is left with a perplexing question how do you keep weapons from men like these when there are estimated 200 million plus guns already in circulation? dan, there's simply no easy answers. >> reporter: no, and this is an explosive issue. i know you'll be talking about it later on "this week." a special edition of "this week" from here in newtown, connecticut, george stephanopoulos will talk with the governor of connecticut dan malloy tackling questions such as how leadership responds to this tragedy, that is this morning on "this week with george stephanopoulos."
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let's get back to new york and ron who has a look at the morning's top stories, also ginger with the weather. good morning. >> good morning, along with severe storms here's what we'll look for in the way of drenching rains, some computer models are putting out 1 to even 3 inches for parts of mississippi back through louisiana and eventually make their way through the rest of the southeast. a look here across the nation, remember, blizzard warnings, winter storm warnings in the pacific northwest. that storm hits tonight through tomorrow. some of the higher elevations will be tough and have to get chains on the tires, chicago, 48 and rain throughout the northeast develops this morning through tonight, rain/snow mix in new england, up to 9 inches of snow in new hampshire. that's a look at the big picture. now a check a little closer to home.
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and that is a check of your nation's weather. we head now back out to dan. >> and thank you, ginger. coming up on "gma," children and tragedy. what do you tell your kids? some extra advice after this quick break. eeen you need a quick holiday present, go to just upload your photo, create any number of gifts and pick them up the same day. right here. at the corner of happy and healthy.
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it was peaceful and everything was fine, everything was just normal. as a regular friday morning would be to everyone and then it all just changed. >> heard screaming. >> we were like all scared. >> we heard a loud bang. we thought that something fell then we heard another and then we saw a gun shot. >> we thought it was a safety drill but then we noticed it was real. >> we hid in the storage room and i actually prayed to god. >> everybody was a little scared crying and i felt actually a little sick like i was going to throw up. >> it felt like it lasted like an hour but it was really like maybe 20 minutes. >> when i went to the fire department, when i didn't see him, i was like oh my god what
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happened to my brother. >> what's the hardest part? >> that someone would murder so many people. >> and i finally saw ethan i was very relieved. >> you said earlier you said you think your teacher saved your life. >> she saved all of us. there's 19 people in our class and she saved all of us. >> and the question facing parents everywhere this morning is, of course, how do i talk to my own child about these terrible events? how can we explain the unexplainable? the inexplainable, difficult for even us to comprehend. joining us is journalist and author willow bay who wrote the book on this topic "talking to your kids in tough times" how to answer your child's questions about the world we live in. she joins us from los angeles and willow was a former anchor here of this program. we want to welcome you back to the program. thanks for being with us. >> nice to be here with you on what is really a tragic morning for all of us, for all parents. >> willow, i want to start by --
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well, i want to start by asking you the question that we've been talking about this morning, all three of us being parents, how do we approach this topic? i know my kids were asking about it last night, where i would be this morning. how do you do it in a way that's compassionate and giving them the information that they need but not too much? >> so the first thing you want to do is establish that there's no question too scary for your child to talk about, to create a really safe and comfortable place for them to come and talk to you. the second thing you want to do is suppress the normal parental instinct to tell them everything. you want it to come from you. waugh want to be the one to tell them but this is one of those situations what thee need to do as we do as journalists and ask our children question so we get a baseline on what they're understanding. remember they're processing unthinkable information and adult information with the minds of children. so you want to ask them questions like, well, what do
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you think about that? what have you heard about that? are the kids at school talking about that just as a way of getting the conversation started and i'm getting a more precise understanding of what exactly they know and they think to be the truth. >> and, willow, one of the questions i received from my 10-year-old daughter, one of the first questions out of her mouth was why mommy. why would someone do like this and you know what, i didn't have an answer for her. what do you tell your children, willow, when they ask why? >> by the way, my 14-year-old -- that was the first thing he said to me, how -- why would somebody do this and i think in that situation it's fine to answer truthfully, which is i don't know. i think everybody is asking that question today. but then with a young child particularly with a young child because the young children think very concretely. they don't -- they haven't mastered abstract thinking.
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ask them, well, why do you think, why do you think somebody would have made a choice like that and it'll get them processing some of this information in their own way. and then you can steer the conversation to ways people could make better choices, for example. >> okay. and one of the most important things is, of course, to make them feel safe. you heard a little girl i spoke to last nate said she's afraid to go back to school. children everywhere will experience some of these feelings of anxiety. what do we say to them about feeling safe and knowing that they are safe? >> well, again, children, young children in particular think very concretely so it's very helpful to reassure them in very concrete and specific ways that they will be safe when they go to school. so you remind them that there are adults out there whose job it is to keep them safe, whether it's policemen. their school principal. their teachers. and walk them through the safety
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measures in their school. there's somebody standing at the front gate. there are drills that we do, practice your drills. again, very concrete and specific things that are going on in their school to keep them safe. also, ask them for their own ideas. what do you think we can do to help keep you safer? what do you think would help you feel safer? oftentimes allowing them to participate will really help them feel better, but then always come back to reminding them that it's the job of adults and there are a lot of us, hard at work, to keep them safe. >> willow bay, fantastic advice and advice that each and every one of us as parents around this entire count can use as our children head back to school on monday. willow, thank you very much. >> great to hear from you willow and more from newtown, connecticut, when we come back. try this. it's oikos greek yogurt.
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well, it will be a struggle to say the least to make sense of the tragedy in connecticut. already people from all over the country are going there to share in the grief. let's go back to lara spencer in newtown. so encouraging to see people from across the country wanting to help. >> bianna, it has been just an incredibly emotional 24 hours here and i will tell you that what struck most of us as we walked around town last night was that sense of strength, resilience, and most of all kindness. on a cold, crisp, new england night, residents gathered in
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makeshift memorials throughout town trying to make sense of the impossible. >> i'm just waiting to wake up from this nightmare. >> reporter: then joined by hundreds of strangers who traveled far and wide trying to help. why did you need to be here? >> i'm a mother. i'm a mother. >> reporter: a mother from new york city, a chaplain from north carolina. how important is it to give back to this community? >> i have grandsons exactly the same age as the victims. my heart was just -- i just was moved. >> reporter: this firehouse is now the site of 26 christmas trees, one for each life taken at sandy hook school each donated from a woman from north carolina and nestled with teddy bears. how is christmas going to be? >> not going to feel like christmas. i think, you know, it's important to keep things as normal as possible for everyone. it's about giving and loving and
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kindness. >> reporter: random acts of kindness abound. take michael craigen offering up his bulldog for free hugs at a local coffee shop. amanda harman lives in an hour away but donating her time here to those who need her most. >> out of all this tragedy my heart has been lifted from all the good that's coming in cross country and around the world. incredible experience. >> and this evening the president will be here in newtown to meet with families who have lost and also to speak at an interstate vigil. bianna, back to you in new york. >> just when you think you see the worst part of society, you see the kindness, as well and i think all of us can say this weekend we're all part of newtown. all right, lara, thank you, and we'll be right back.
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that's going to do it for "gma" on this sunday morning. on behalf of bianna golodryga who you see there in new york alongside lara spencer and amy robach here with me in newtown, connecticut, i want to thank you and remind you there's much more coverage coming up on abc news throughout the day, a special edition of "this week with george stephanopoulos" and abc's david muir will host "world news" from here later on. thanks again for watching. take care. [ boy 1 ] hey! that's the last crescent.
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>> developing news federal agents turn their focus to the gun stores in the connecticut school tragedy. stories of healing and heroism out of connecticut. the women credited with saving countless lives. police shut down a san francisco neighborhood as they search for a suspected gunman. >> good morning everyone. thanks for


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